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CU System
CU employees fin-lit lessons impact students
WICHITA, Kan. (12/5/07)--Marquis Murphy, an employee of Joplin, Mo.-based Great Plains FCU, says he didn’t know much about finances when he was younger. As the son of a single mother, he lived on cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner. “That’s why I’m back in the classroom now,” he told the Wichita Eagle (Dec. 4). Murphy, an employee at Great Plains FCU, volunteers the majority of his time to talk to Kansas students about money. They need to learn how to manage their money now so they can make good decisions later, he told the newspaper. Because Murphy said he understands that some children might think of financial literacy as “boring,” he uses comedy and activities to connect with his students. He even uses a Pictionary-themed game to help students identify terms such as “liability,” “bankruptcy,” and “cash flow.” Murphy teaches through his nonprofit, Youth Educational Empowerment Program (YEEP), which is funded through local donations. This year, the program is being taught in six schools, and some of his lessons have been added to the schools’ U.S. History courses. Murphy’s lessons work because of their real-world applications, said Mark Farrar, a local high school teacher. For instance, Murphy showed Farrar’s students how much they could save annually by not eating fast food every day for lunch. His effectiveness also is evident in a story Murphy likes to tell about a former student. The young woman had $3,000 in a savings account, and decided to place it in a certificate of deposit. She proudly told Murphy that she was going to receive $182 in interest by the end of the year. Managing money is a “character thing,” but it’s also something that everyone deals with on a daily basis, Murphy told the newspaper.
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